A Complete Guide on IELTS General Training Writing Task 1

If you are attending for IELTS General Training exam, you will need to write a letter for Writing Task 1 (Writing Task 2 is same for both General Training and Academic IELTS. Click here for the detailed discussion on General Training writing).

However, the letter can be either

  • a Formal letter 


  • an Informal letter

Regardless the letter is formal or informal, you need to remember the followings:

  • Discuss all of the bullet points. Use one paragraph for one bullet point. It will make your writing more readable. More importantly, if you write this way, your letter will look more organized and attractive. 

  • Always be aware of your language when you are writing. You must remember the differences between the language of a formal letter and an informal letter.

For the detailed discussion on each letter type, click on the links below:

Essential Information for GT Writing Task 1

  • Academic IELTS students write an essay on a given diagram, whereas General Training students need to write a formal or an informal letter.

  • You need to write at least 150 words for the letter. It can be 180-190 at most. We strongly recommend not exceed 190.

  • You should spend maximum 20 minutes on this task. Use the other 40 minutes for Task 2.


  • The letter will carry one third of the total Writing marks. The remaining two thirds will come from Writing Task 2. 

  • Your marks in Writing will depend on how well you meet the following criteria:


  1. Task Achievement

  2. Coherence and Cohesion

  3. Lexical Resource

  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Each of these criteria will carry 25% weight of your writing assessment. Click on each item for the detailed discussion.

Let's write a 7, 8 or 9 band essay 

You know there are different structures to answer different types of questions. For instance, if you respond to an opinion essay question, definitely it needs to be written in a different way than that of a problem-solution essay question. Likewise, response to a single pie chart question will be surely different from the answer of a multiple graph question. Also, a map description will be obviously different from a data table discussion. When it comes to a letter writing, you must apply the appropriate formats for different types of informal, semi formal and formal letters. 

In addition to the proper writing structures, your choice of words is also very important, because if you cannot use right vocabulary and expressions, you will fail to convey your intended message to the examiner, and eventually will lose marks for Task Achievement, one of the four marking criteria.


Meanwhile, just answering the specific question and using contextual words are not enough, your response needs to be presented in such an organised way that it can give a coherent message to the examiner. To do this, you have to use cohesive devices very carefully, otherwise it will be like, you have constructed a strong building with the finest ingredients (bricks, cement, ceramics etc.), but the building is not liveable, as the doors, windows etc. are not placed properly.

Moreover, just giving an organised clear response is not enough, your sentences have to be free from grammatical errors, otherwise all the hard work will be of no avail. Therefore, if you want to secure a 7+ band score in IELTS Writing, you must confirm that at least 70% of your sentences are free from grammatical errors.

However, do not panic. You can do everything very beautifully. Our IELTS Essay Correction platform is tailored to take you through all the steps required to confirm your desired band score. Once you join our IELTS Writing Assessment Service, an assigned IELTS examiner will look into every word of your essay. He / she will give you a detailed feedback, based on each marking criterion individually. Please remember, our IELTS Essay Feedback Service is not just to finish the quota of your number of essays, rather it is prepared to take you step by step towards your dream score. However, if you have any queries, you can always write in the live chat box below. We are 24/7 available online for your support.